Warriors

Zaza Pachulia likens Warriors' Eric Paschall to ex-teammate Al Horford

Zaza Pachulia likens Warriors' Eric Paschall to ex-teammate Al Horford

For the first time in his NBA career, Eric Paschall shot worse than 50 percent (six of 15) from the field in the Warriors' 129-112 loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

It prevented Golden State's rookie from reaching the 20-point plateau for a third straight game -- he scored 19 -- but he still managed to have a quality all-around performance, complete with six rebounds and three assists.

Former Warriors big man Zaza Pachulia spent 18 years in the NBA, and he had high praise for the Dubs' second-round draft pick Wednesday.

"I would say he's one of the most mature rookies I've seen, to be honest," Pachulia said of Paschall on Warriors Postgame Live. 

Paschall has been the main bright spot in an otherwise depressing Warriors' season to date, as the No. 41 overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft has gone from relative unknown to Golden State's top offensive option in the wake of injuries to several traditional starters. 

"I give him credit," Pachulia continued, "but at the same time, understand that the better he plays, the more focus is going to be on him. He's going to face different challenges from game to game, and that's how it goes ... It's great for him to be dealing with this in his rookie year."

Back in 2007, Pachulia was entering his fifth NBA season and third as a member of the Hawks, and Atlanta had just used the No. 3 overall draft pick on a big man who had spent three years at a top collegiate program and won an NCAA championship.

Sound familiar?

When asked if Paschall reminds him of anyone from his playing career, Pachulia came up with a lofty comparison.

"He's unique," Pachulia described Paschall. "Definitely, he's unique. Probably a bit of Al Horford, I would say. When Al came into the league, winning two championships with the Florida Gators, he had that -- he had that maturity. 

"He was well-spoken off the court, on the court. He was a winner. He was doing the right things, he was playing the right way. He was a beast down there, as well. Different positions, but bringing the personality into it, what I see in Paschall basically reminds me of Al."

[RELATED: Warriors' Paschall calls Harden 'food' after emphatic and-1]

Safe to say, if Paschall reaches the same heights that Horford has, the Warriors will be even more elated at the Villanova product falling into their laps than they already are. Like Horford, Pachulia believes Paschall has the mindset to capitalize on his vast potential.

"He's mature for a rookie, but he's going to get even better," Pachulia predicted. "He's going to learn more and he's going to gain more experience and he's going to improve his game. His maturity is only going to help speed up his growth."

The Warriors have an abundance of youth and a dearth of talent. But with a mature rookie like Paschall, both of those areas aren't as bad as once feared.

Nets players free of coronavirus symptoms, but Kevin Durant might be delayed

Nets players free of coronavirus symptoms, but Kevin Durant might be delayed

Good news. The four Brooklyn Nets players who had tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) are now free from symptoms.

Nets general manager Sean Marks announced Wednesday during a conference call with reporters that all members of Brooklyn's traveling party had completed a two-week quarantine. Even so, they will continue to abide by social-distancing guidelines.

"As it pertains to the team," Marks said (via ESPN's Malika Andrews), "I sense -- like all of us, like the rest of New York and really the rest of the globe -- we're trying to deal with this as best we can."

The Nets were scheduled to face the Warriors at Chase Center in front of no fans on March 12, but the NBA indefinitely suspended the season the previous night after two Utah Jazz players became the first in the NBA to test positive for the coronavirus. Upon returning to Brooklyn from San Francisco, the Nets paid a private company to test the team for COVID-19, which revealed that four players had tested positive.

Of those four players, three were asymptomatic. According to Marks, however, the lone player exhibiting symptoms has since recovered.

Former Warrior Kevin Durant admitted he was one of the four Nets to test positive for the coronavirus. He hadn't played all season while recovering from a torn Achilles, and was already ruled out for the duration of the 2019-20 campaign. While Durant might have some extra time on his hands these days, it's possible that the season being indefinitely paused could delay his return to game action.

The same goes for Brooklyn point guard Kyrie Irving, who underwent shoulder surgery on March 3. Though they are able to continue their respective rehabilitations, they obviously don't have access to the practice facility, which could slow the process.

"I couldn't give an answer on when they'll play this season," Marks said. "I don't think it's fair to those athletes nor the performance team to put a timeline on it. I think everyone is dealing with bigger, far more pressing things."

[RELATED: Steph had to assemble hoop Ayesha ordered in quarantine]

Marks insisted he would have a better idea of each player's respective timeline in another three weeks to a month, when he hopes to have more clarification about the NBA's plans to resume the season.

Of course, there's no guarantee that will happen, either.

Steph Curry explains how he's above average in 'Tour de Warriors' race

Steph Curry explains how he's above average in 'Tour de Warriors' race

Warriors players can't go to Chase Center to work on their game while the NBA season is indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

They can't use the team facilities to ride the bike, or hop on the treadmill or use the elliptical.

And not everybody has exercise equipment at home.

But those who do have been able to work out together ...

... virtually.

Ben Cohen of The Wall Street Journal has the details:

(Steph Curry) does have a Peloton bike at home. As it turns out, he’s not the only one: The Warriors have been going for a group ride in the morning.

The invitation goes out on a Slack group -- Curry admits to skipping one class because he didn’t see the message -- and then a maniacally competitive bicyclist named Draymond Green attempts to destroy everyone around him, according to a person familiar with the rides.

“In the Tour de Warriors,” Curry said, “I’m above average, but I’m not on the podium yet. I have to figure out how to get there. There’s always something to shoot for.”

It's not a surprise to hear that Draymond is competitive during these sessions, as he has been a regular at SoulCycle for quite some time.

[RELATED: Steph had to assemble hoop Ayesha ordered in quarantine]

“You walk out feeling sweaty, feeling good like you got a workout in, but it doesn’t put much strain on the body," the three-time NBA champion told NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke about one year ago. "Sometimes it’s good to get away from the game of basketball or the typical weight room.

“You’re working out with a different group of people, you’re all on rhythm, trying to stay on the beat with each other. When you add music to a workout, it’s fun. I do it a lot with my fiancée, and we have a good time. We sit next to each other. She’s really good at it.”

As for Steph -- knowing how competitive he is, don't be surprised if we learn that he wins the "Tour de Warriors" on the regular very soon.

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